21 Aug 2017

The High Speed Rail (London to West Midlands) Act 2017 (HS2 Act) section 20(1) grants deemed planning permission under Part 3 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA) for "scheduled works"; the works the Act authorises and described in Schedule 1. This permission is subject to the requirement that certain approvals need to be obtained from the relevant planning authorities under the planning regime established by Schedule 17 to the HS2 Act (section 20(3). The conditions in Schedule 17 are enforceable by the relevant planning authority in accordance with the TCPA.

The purpose of Schedule 17 is to establish a streamlined approvals process and Part 1 sets out the conditions of deemed planning permission. The process differs from the TCPA in how it defines the matters that require approval and the grounds that the planning authorities can have regard to in determining requests for approval. This is because the works already have deemed planning permission through the HS2 Act and there are other complementary controls imposed through the HS2 Act and Environmental Minimum Requirements.

Part 3 provides that approval under Part 1 may only be grated at the request of the nominated undertaker. For the authority to consider the undertaker's request, the undertaker must deposit a document setting out the proposed programme and this must be accompanied with a document explaining how the matters to which the request relates fit into the overall scheme of the works authorised by the Act.

A number of these 'planning context reports' have been published. The website suggests they were first published 29 June 2017 although most of them are dated May 2017; the delay presumably being due to purdah for the general election. These provide an overview of HS2 works that will take place within the local authority, including a programme for making the requests for approval under Schedule 17.

Context reports for the following have been published:

  • Aylesbury Vale District
  • Birmingham City
  • Chiltern District
  • Lichfield District
  • London Borough of Hillingdon
  • North Warwickshire Borough
  • South Northamptonshire
  • Stratford-on-Avon District
  • Three Rivers District
  • Warwick District

For more information, please see the planning context reports.